Day: January 24, 2021
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Marketers have been thinking about, arguing over, and implementing personalization tactics for the last few years. So why in the world would I promote depersonalized marketing?
If you’re like most eager marketers, you’re are trying to keep up with personalization. You may have tried retargeting, creating highly-targeted landing pages, and using dynamic ads.
You are digesting as much content as you can. You’re testing all of the newest tips, tricks, and strategies you can find.
But there’s a problem.
While some of those tips are good, others do little to increase your overall ROI.
Which is exactly the point of personalization strategies. So what’s the issue?
The problem isn’t personalization itself. The problem is with how we think about personalization.
In fact, personalization works. Sometimes.
Why Personalization Works…Sometimes
For the most part, marketing personalization works.
All of the recent data shows it, and marketers everywhere swear by it.
But let’s talk about how marketers implement personalization and whether or not it’s the best strategy.
Does adding people’s names to your email campaigns or changing the color or copy of a button really help?
If it does, is it significant enough to matter?
In the end what we’re really wondering is:
Is there a better way?
A study found 99 percent of marketers find personalization advanced customer relationships. Seventy-eight percent believe it has a strong or extremely strong impact.
We’re not debating that personalization works.
Personalization helps marketers interact with a massive customer base in a way they have never been able to before.
They can use individual customer names, offer relevant products based on past purchases, and generally treat customers like the humans they are.
Even consumers are familiar with the power of personalization.
Gladly’s 2020 Customer Expectation report found that 84 percent of consumers will spend more with a brand that offers personalized customer service.
Before I start to sound like every other content writer talking about personalization in marketing , let me ask you a question.
Even though the above statistic says that consumers are more likely to buy when they receive personalized service, is that the best you can do?
In other words, just because people are more likely to buy from a marketer who uses their name versus a marketer who doesn’t, what about the marketer who does more than use name tags?
Wouldn’t that marketer win?
Sure, you can recognize your customers’ names. What if you also recognized their tendencies or wrote email copy like an actual human being instead of a business?
How much more impactful would that be?
The point is, maybe we’re using personalization wrong.
What is Real Personalization in Marketing?
When marketers talk about personalization, they are usually referring to name tags including the receiver’s name in their email campaigns, sending abandoned cart emails, or recommending products based on past purchases.
Things like this:
And ads like this:
Here’s the thing about those methods. They don’t work.
That’s right. They don’t. At least, not that well.
OK, sure, sometimes a marketer will come along and experience a significant difference in their open rate, engagement rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate after adding someone’s name to their emails.
More often than not, those marketers are the minority.
Usually, the business that experiences that kind of personalization success has a massive audience with an already-loyal customer base to experiment on.
When they see a one or two percent jump in their conversion rate, it’s significant because of their hundreds of thousands of customers.
But it’s still only a one or two percent jump.
For you, that might not be so significant.
Regardless of the size of the business, though, marketers everywhere are prioritizing personalization.
It’s hard to blame them when so many studies swear by the power of personalization.
But here’s what’s even more interesting. Only 31 percent of marketers think that they are using personalization right, and 69 percent think they aren’t.
This means while marketers understand the importance of personalization, most don’t know how to do it effectively.
Here’s the point: Marketers know personalization is important, but they don’t know how to use it effectively.
If that is you, you’re probably trying to figure out what you are doing wrong.
That’s why you’re here, right?
In the end, personalization isn’t about using someone’s name or including recommended products. It’s about being authentic.
Welcome to the age of depersonalization.
Why Depersonalization is Far More Effective at Driving ROI
Let’s start with the question that’s on your mind.
What is depersonalization?
Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
It’s personalizing your marketing efforts by making them less personal.
I know that sounds confusing. Let me explain.
Imagine you received the following emails in your inbox. Which one would feel more personal?
Would it be this one?
Or would it be this one?
If you’re anything like most people, you said the first one.
Why does the first email feel more personal than the second one?
After all, the second uses the receiver’s name, and the first one doesn’t. They both offer discounts, but the second one includes a bit more detail.
Why, then, does the first one feel personal and the second one feels clunky?
Well, the answer is simple. The first one doesn’t try to be something that it isn’t.
The second email uses your name, but you already know that a robot sent the email. Just look at the capitalization.
It feels fake rather than building trust.
The first one, though, doesn’t include your name or try to act like it’s a human when everyone knows it isn’t. That makes the business feel more trustworthy and honest.
That is the power of depersonalization. In fact, here are six more ways you can depersonalize your marketing strategy.
1. Remove Name Tags From Emails and Add Transparency
I know. Practically every marketer and their dog insisits you’ll get a better click-through and response rate if you use your customers’ names.
They are wrong. (Well, mostly.)
The problem with using name tags to make your emails feel personalized is that it can have opposite effect.
Think about it.
Have you ever received an email from someone with your name on it and thought to yourself, “They didn’t send this email just to me. Who does this person think they’re tricking?”
Everyone knows your emails are going to a large group of people, not just them.
So using their name feels disingenuous.
Consider what Rachel Pedersen’s emails look like.
Nowhere in this email does she use my name. In fact, she never uses my name in any of her emails.
She knows that sending emails is more like speaking to a large crowd of people than talking to just a few in a small room.
You’re on a pedestal, so be on a pedestal.
Email, in particular, is one of the channels where marketers believe in personalization the most.
That’s exactly why we’re talking about it.
But here’s the thing about Rachel’s email above. While she doesn’t use my name, she uses other remarkable tactics to personalize the conversation.
Primarily, she’s transparent with her audience.
That’s far more effective than just adding someone’s name will ever be.
Here’s another email I received from her.
In this email, Rachel creates transparency with her audience by talking about how amazing one of her clients is and even mentioning that the client gives her more credit than she deserves.
You can practically smell the authenticity dripping from the email copy.
When people receive those kinds of messages, honesty baffles them and makes them more willing to trust you.
If you want to have that effect in your email campaigns, then ditch the name tags and talk about yourself with transparency.
Your listeners will appreciate it.
2. Provide Real Value Before Asking for Anything
Too many email campaigns try to take.
They ask the receiver to buy, give, or sacrifice.
Instead, email campaigns should provide value.
Now, I’m not saying that you should never ask your audience to do something. CTAs are important, after all.
What I am saying is don’t ask your audience to do something before you’ve provided a remarkable amount of value.
Consider, for instance, Michael Hyatt’s 20-to-1 rule,
He claims you shouldn’t ask for anything until you’ve provided “deposited” 20 pieces of value.
That might sound like a lot, but you don’t have to follow the number exactly.
But his point stands.
Provide value before you ask your audience to buy, commit, or opt-in.
Ask yourself, “What would really woo my customers? How could I provide immense value to them?”
Then create a piece of content or downloadable worksheet with remarkable value.
Here’s another email from Rachel Pedersen where she provides value for the reader from the get-go.
Also, consider this email I received from Trevor Mauch:
Or this email.
Do you see a pattern yet?
Each one of these emails provides value rather than demand a purchase.
They all initiate the customer-business relationship by giving something meaningful.
When they do ask for something, readers are more likely to respond.
After all, what goes around comes around, right?
4. Write Like a Real Person
There’s nothing worse than including someone’s name and recommended products but writing like a robot.
Unfortunately, an impersonal voice haunts most marketers’ attempts at personalization.
When that happens, receivers lose even more trust for the business.
In fact, it’s probably better to just do one or the other. Either write like a robot and remove the pretend personalization or only email one person at a time with authenticity.
Of course, neither of those options are very viable for an effective email strategy.
But there’s one other option.
Namely, remove the fake personalization but create real personalization by writing like the human being that you are.
The Hustle is one of my favorite newsletters for this very reason.
Here’s one of their emails.
Here’s another one.
Although none of these emails include my name or try to sport a false sense of personalization, they do something else that’s far more powerful.
They use a consistent voice and a fun and distinguishable attitude to express their stories and ideas.
This makes their publication feel more personal, honest, and authentic than most newsletters.
You can use the same strategy to build trust with your receivers.
In other words, write like a human, and your content will attract people.
They’ll know if you’re faking it.
5. Focus on Existing Customers
It’s no secret that existing customers are more valuable than new customers.
They are more loyal and more profitable, and they generate more revenue.
For example, returning customers are 60 to 70 percent more likely to convert.
Plus, you don’t have to pay to acquire them.
But how do you turn old customers into new customers?
The secret might just be depersonalizing your marketing efforts.
Here’s what the upside-down funnel looks like.
Essentially, when existing customers become evangelists for your business, they tell their friends.
Then, their friends become customers.
But how can you make that happen?
Well, personalization isn’t the answer.
If you create marketing campaigns that build trust, express authenticity and transparency, and sound like a real person, you can make evangelists out of your existing customers.
When people feel like your business has a distinguishable voice and authentic personality, they will fall in love with you.
When they fall in love with you, they’ll tell their friends.
6. Really Listen to Your Audience
If you really want to add personalization to your marketing campaign by depersonalizing your efforts, then you have to listen to your audience.
No one knows your audience better than themselves.
Get in the habit of asking them questions and listening to their responses.
Plus, that’s one of the best ways to add personality to your emails without faking it.
Here’s an email I received from Scott Oldford:
This email is wimple but wildly powerful. It simply asks a few questions and leaves it at that.
If you want people to respond, then don’t include anything else in the email. Just ask great questions.
Then, make a note of their answers, and you’ll find new ways to reach them.
Here’s another email I received from Scott:
In this email, Scott prompts people to respond with ways that he can help them.
Nothing says “personalization” quite like a question.
And luckily for you and your marketing campaigns, asking your audience questions and listening to their answers is one of the easiest things for marketers to do.
There’s a lot of advice out there about personalization in marketing.
Some marketers recommend using a blue button instead of a red one, and other marketers recommend using red instead of blue.
It’s easy to get frustrated with so much conflicting advice.
The reason there are so many conflicting strategies is most personalization efforts only result in marginal gains.
Depersonalization, however, is effective.
When you remove name tags from your emails and add transparency, write like a real person, provide real value, focus on existing customers, and listen to your audience, you’ll generate leads and revenue like never before.
And it won’t be because your marketing campaigns feel personal, but because they are personal.
What personalization tactics do you use when reaching out to customers and prospects? Will you give depersonalization a try?
The post Why You Should Depersonalize Your Marketing in 2021 appeared first on Neil Patel.
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Are you planning to launch an online store? Your timing couldn’t be better.
The ongoing pandemic has caused online shopping to soar, with most people staying home.
But that doesn’t take away the challenges involved in launching an online store, especially if you don’t have any ecommerce experience.
Where do I begin? What can I sell? Where do I source your products from? How do I create an online store? Wait, I’ll need a web host, too?
So many questions!
Don’t worry, though—I have you covered.
In this article, I’ll give you a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you launch your first online store, making sure you avoid making common and not-so-common mistakes and get your site up and running ASAP.
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet
Want to skip the details and get a quick cheat sheet? Here you go.
You have to decide what you want to sell and how you’re going to get the products. And while you’re at it, you must also consider the product’s prices, your target audience, and whether or not there is an audience for your product.
After all, why would you want to sell a product nobody wants to buy?
You can choose a product that metaphorically “scratches your own itch.” Or you can also consider buying a product that already exists, improving it, and then doing a better job of marketing it. This is sometimes known as drop-shipping.
I would personally recommend the second option for first-time entrepreneurs as it considerably lowers the risk out of selling.
If you agree, head over to Alibaba.com to find suppliers for your chosen product. While Alibaba is one of the more popular marketplaces, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t frauds on the platform.
To make sure you deal with genuine suppliers only, look for the Gold Supplier icon. This indicates that a particular supplier has signed up for a paid membership. Therefore, it’s unlikely for any fraud to have the Gold Supplier icon on their profile.
If you decide to go forward with the supplier, make sure you order sample products to determine the quality you should expect. Don’t forget to discuss payment terms and other details so that you and the supplier are on the same page.
With the products in place, you’ll have to figure out a good name for your brand and check whether a domain name is available. While this sounds incredibly fun, it can quickly turn annoying.
Keep patient, though.
Consider your domain name as a long-term investment, and try to come up with the best you can.
Next up, you have to set up your online store platform. Consider selling your products on either Shopify or Amazon—both are equally good.
Finally, work on optimizing your site by including targeted keywords in your product descriptions. This is an excellent way to drive more organic traffic to your website rather than partaking in more cumbersome marketing strategies.
If I’m honest, though, you’ll still need to look for other ways to promote your shop, such as on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Step 1: Figure Out Your Niche
Since you’re going to set up an online store, you’ll need a product. The very first thing you should do is decide what you’re going to sell and who you’re selling it to.
Many first-time entrepreneurs make the mistake of not putting enough thought into deciding their niche, which includes the product’s price, the audience to whom the product is aimed, and the market opportunity.
Don’t make this mistake.
Always remember your product matters the most—both in terms of quality and relevance. You have two options here: you can either create something you need or source something from elsewhere, make it better, and then market it.
I’ll recommend choosing a niche that isn’t already dominated by a few brands.
Let me explain this with the help of two scenarios.
- Scenario 1: Your headphones stop working. You want to replace it, so what do you do?
You‘ll either place an order online from sites like Sony, Bose, or Beats. Or maybe visit the physical stores of these brands.
- Scenario 2: You’ve moved into a new house when you realize that you want decorative lights for your bedroom.
You’ll likely Google “decorative lights for bedrooms“ or “buy decorative lights with free shipping.”
Do you see the difference in your behavior?
Niches dominated by a few brands aren’t really profitable for first-timers. Trust me, customers don’t even think about alternatives as their brand loyalty kicks in almost immediately.
Instead, it’s much better to stick with niches and products that don’t have a couple of specific brand names associated with them.
You can also use Amazon to check out the competitors in your niche. Try to identify common features that could help you improve your product. For instance, you can have thick paper notebooks or reinforced steel for bottles. Basically, stuff that will help improve the quality of effectiveness of your products.
Next, you’ll need to work on sourcing the products.
Step 2: Source Products From Alibaba
Alibaba.com is one of the most popular marketplaces when it comes to sourcing products. Many people in the ecommerce industry already use this site, so it makes perfect sense for you to source your products on this platform, too.
But how do you go about this? Let’s assume you want to sell steel bottles.
Search for “steel bottles.” You’ll now see a list of suppliers selling all kinds of steel bottles at different prices.
Next, you’ll have to contact a few of them to see whether they would be a good match for you. You first need to figure out your requirements before you get in touch with them. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting everyone’s time.
The way to distinguish genuine sellers from frauds is to look for the Gold Supplier mark. Gold Supplier is a paid membership for suppliers on Alibaba.com, which indicates that the business is serious about trading with other international companies.
Take a look at this screenshot:
It shows that this particular supplier has been a Gold Supplier for three years. Since they have to pay for this recognition, you can be sure that they will be serious when negotiating with you.
You must discuss payment terms and minimums and other things so that every detail is explicitly clear to avoid misunderstandings in the future. I’d also recommend ordering sample products before you place a big order to get a better idea of what you’re going to get and the shipping times.
Step 3: Pick a Name for Your Brand and Get a Domain
Now comes the exciting—and at times frustrating—part of starting an online store: Choosing an appropriate name.
Once you start looking for options, you’ll realize how the best names have already been trademarked and website domains already registered.
It’s like hitting one dead end after another!
But don’t give in just yet, as finding a good name is an effort well worth the pain (and tears).
Here’s a quick checklist you should follow:
- It should be easy to spell and concise – three words or shorter.
- It should have a .com domain
- It must reflect your chosen niche
- It cannot be already trademarked by other people—the legal hassle is costly and very troubling.
Take my domain as an example. NeilPatel.com is short, concise, and reflects my brand. You do not have to use your name. That was just a choice that was right for me.
The good news is there’s an option for you to get a domain without having to pay the registration fee. Most web hosting services offer users a free domain—provided you choose a company that provides this feature like Bluehost or Wix.
I highly recommend this method, as you get free .com domains with full ownership that’ll make you look more professional and credible to your visitors. Plus, if you’re already going to purchase a web hosting plan, why not select an option that offers you a free domain?
Purchasing a web hosting plan, typically as a one, two, or three-year contract, is necessary. Think of the free domain as a bonus to your investment.
The next crucial step is setting up your ecommerce store on a platform that’s easy to use and offers good customer support.
Step 4: Set up Your Online Store Platform
Shopify and Amazon are two of the most popular and user-friendly e-commerce sites.
You can also use WordPress + WooCommerce if you want. But that’s best for times when you already have a blog with a large audience. This way, you won’t have to put in an extra effort to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.
Option #1 Setting Up Your Shopify Account
Shopify has over 218 million buyers from 175 countries. So you can imagine the number of people who trust this ecommerce site.
You can start the 14-day free trial to get a feel of Shopify’s features. If you decide to move forward with it, you’ll upgrade to the paid plan.
The first step is to enter a store name, which will also become the default URL to start your trial. For example, if you want your Shopify’s store name to be JoshBeans, your URL will be joshbeans.myshopify.com.
If you buy a custom domain (joshbeans.com), you’ll be able to get rid of the ‘myshopify’ part.
Complete further instructions as asked. Then you have your own Shopify account.
To customize your store further, visit https://themes.shopify.com/ to select a theme to make your store more on-brand with what you sell and to fit your brand.
What’s more, you can talk to a Shopify Expert if you need help with the technical aspects of setting up your store or find yourself stuck at a specific place.
Option #2 Setting Up an Amazon Account
You also have the option to display your products on Amazon.
Go to Amazon and scroll down to the bottom of the homepage. Select Sell on Amazon.
Sign up to become an Amazon seller. You can sign up as an individual seller or a professional seller. In my opinion, it would be better to become a professional seller if you’re in for the long haul.
After setting up and verifying your identity, you can start with listing your products. Before this, make sure you go through the details of the selling process on Amazon.
Then click on Inventory followed by Add a Product. This will open up Amazon‘s catalog, where you’ll have to search for the product you want to sell.
You can also create a new product listing if you can’t find a suitable option.
And that’s it! You can now start selling your product on Amazon.
Before you can start listing your products, make sure you have high-quality photos of them, preferably on a white background. Similar to this:
Step 5: Optimize Your Site
If you think customers will come to you just after you launch the website, we have news for you: Not going to happen.
Instead, you need to optimize your website to attract traffic through search engines by targeting SEO keywords in your product descriptions.
Write good copy for every listed product, taking care to mention their USPs and describing them explicitly.
This will involve you focusing on two primary areas:
- You have to target your product pages to specific terms that are typically searching for within the platform
- Work on getting as many five-star reviews you can on your products as possible
The above two tips are instrumental in improving your search terms and reviews, enabling more people to see your products on the platform. This will translate into more sales and revenue for you, which is exactly what we want.
Congratulations! You now have your online store up and running.
From figuring out what you want to sell and sourcing it to choosing a reliable ecommerce site to display your products, you are now an expert when it comes to launching an online store.
But don’t celebrate too hard—you have to next work on spreading the word about your store to get customers to purchase your product or service. When the money starts rolling in, I’ll be expecting a party.
Here’s wishing you all the luck!
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You may be surprised by what you don’t know about your business credit cards credit score. There are so many things misunderstood about business credit in general. What it is, how you get it, and even what it means are all areas of confusion for many business owners. It’s no wonder. With terms being thrown around such as personal credit, business credit, credit report, business credit report, fundability and more, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that true understanding is just out of grasp of many. Let’s clear it up by debunking the 5 most common business about business credit.
Do You Really Understand Your Business Credit Cards Credit Score?
There are many myths surrounding business credit. These range from how you actually establish business credit to how much your business credit cards credit score actually matters.
Myth #1: Just Because It’s a Business Card, Doesn’t Mean It Affects Your Business Credit Score
One of the most prevalent myths about business credit cards credit score is the idea that if you have a credit card that is designated as a “business” card, it is helping you build business credit. In reality, this may or may not be true.
It’s actually more about the information on the card application than the card itself. If you apply for the card with your personal information, it is going to report to your personal credit. Even if you use your business name, or a DBA, but your personal contact information and Social Security Number, this will still be true.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
That leads us to our next myth.
Myth #2: Business Credit is Built the Same Way as Personal Credit
You have to intentionally separate your business from yourself as the owner before you can build business credit. Just using credit cards with your business name on them will not do it. This is, of course, contrary to how personal credit builds.
How do you separate your business from yourself?
Separate Contact Information
Your business needs its own phone number, address, and email address. You don’t need to get a separate phone line or even a separate location. You can still run your business from your home or on your computer.
In fact, you can get a business phone number that will work over the internet instead of phone lines. It’s called VoIP, or voice over IP. The phone number will forward to any phone you want it to so you can simply use your personal cell phone or landline if you want. When someone calls your business number, it will ring straight to you.
You can use a virtual office for a business address. It’s a business that offers a physical address for a fee. Sometimes they even offer mail service and live receptionist services. Some offer meeting spaces for those times you may need to meet a client or customer in person.
Get an EIN
You need an EIN. This is a number for your business that works in a way similar to how your SSN works for you personally. You can get one for free from the IRS.
Incorporating your business as an LLC, S-corp, or corporation is essential. It lends credence to your business as one that is legitimate. It also offers some protection from liability.
The best thing to do is talk to your attorney or a tax professional about which option to choose. Just do it fast, because some lenders consider your time in business to start at the time of incorporation.
Open a Business Bank Account
This is also something that needs to be done ASAP. The main reason is, if a lender does not consider incorporation to be the starting date of the business, then they will consider the date the business bank account was opened. A separate account for business transactions will help you keep track of business finances. It will also help you keep them separate from personal finances for tax purposes.
There’s more than that too. There are several types of funding you cannot get without a business bank account. Often, lenders and credit card companies want to see one with a minimum average balance. Also, you cannot get a merchant account without a business account at a bank. That means, you cannot take credit card payments.
While your credit score is definitely important, it isn’t the only thing that lenders look at. In fact, it is only one piece of the picture. Lenders look at the total fundability of a business. Here are some things that they may consider in addition to credit score.
Continuity of Business Information
Lenders are looking for a great credit score. Unfortunately, it’s not all that hard to fake one and commit fraud in an effort to get a loan. For this reason, lenders tend to throw out any application that throws up any red flags for fraud, including those that have high credit scores associated with them.
One of the most common of these is inconsistency in business information. Something as small as using an ampersand on your business license and the word “and” on incorporation papers or even insurance documents, can cause you to be denied. Be certain also any address changes are changed everywhere. Phone numbers can cause the same problem if they change. All business information has to be consistent across the board.
Both your personal and business tax returns need to be in order. Not only that, but you need to be paying your taxes, both business and personal.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
It is best to have an accounting professional prepare regular financial statements for your business. Having an accountant’s name on financial statements lends credence to the legitimacy of your business. If you cannot afford this monthly or quarterly, at least have professional statements prepared annually. Then, they are at the ready whenever you need to apply for a loan.
Often tax returns for the previous three years will be all you need. Get a tax professional to prepare them. Other information lenders may ask for include check stubs and bank statements, among other things.
There are several other agencies that hold information related to your personal finances that you need to know about. For example, FICO. Your personal FICO score needs to be as strong as possible. Almost all traditional lenders will look at personal credit in addition to business credit.
In addition to FICO reporting personal credit, there is also ChexSystems. In the simplest terms, this keeps up with bad check activity and makes a difference when it comes to your bank score. If you have too many bad checks, you will not be able to open a bank account.
Even things you may not ever think about in terms of lending approval come into play here. Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Do you have a bankruptcy or short sell on your record? How about liens or UCC filings? All of this can and will play into your ability to get a loan.
First, consider the timing of the application. Is your business currently fundable? If not, do some work to increase fundability. Next, are your business name, business address, and ownership status all verifiable. Lenders will check into it. Lastly, make sure you choose the right lending product for your business and your needs. Do you need a traditional loan or a line of credit? Would a working capital loan or expansion loan work best for your needs? Choosing the right product to apply for can make all the difference.
Check out our best webinar with its trustworthy list of seven vendors to help you build business credit, even in a recession.
Myth #4: If You Have Good Personal Credit, Business Credit Is Pointless
While you may be able to fund a business on personal credit alone, it isn’t a good idea. There are a few reasons for this. The most obvious is, if your business goes belly up, you are personally liable for the debt.
That means you could lose your house or your car. There’s still more however. If you use your personal credit to fund your business, you are likely going to hover near your credit limits. That will increase your debt-to-credit ratio substantially. In turn, your personal credit score will take a serious hit. That will impede your ability to buy things like a home or car.
If you have business credit, you will be able to fund your business without any of that debt being reflected on your personal credit report.
Myth #5: Paying On-Time is All that Matters
When it comes to your business credit cards credit score, paying consistently on-time is definitely key. However, it isn’t the only thing that is important. For example, if you do not have your business set up as mentioned above, there will be no business credit file to report payments to. Also, most business credit cards will not extend credit on the merits of your business alone without you first having a business credit score. This makes it difficult to build a business credit cards credit score without having a business credit score in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle.
There are certain vendors, called starter vendors, that can help with that. They will extend invoices with net terms, and then they will report the payments on those invoices to the business credit reporting agencies. Once enough accounts are reporting on-time payments, you have the start of a strong business credit score.
Also, you need a D-U-N-S number. This is the number that Dun & Bradstreet uses to enter your business into their system. Since D&B is the largest and most commonly used business credit reporting agency, if you aren’t in their system, you may as well not have business credit.
Business Credit is Often Misunderstood
There are many myths about business credit. It is hard to wade through all of the misinformation and get to the truth. Hopefully, this will help you better understand your business credit cards credit score.
The post 5 Myths About Your Business Credit Cards Credit Score appeared first on Credit Suite.
PayPal is a pioneer in the pay online industry. It allows customers to make and receive payments online. Better yet, none of the parties have any knowledge of the other’s banking accounts. It’s a secure way to pay and get paid online. If you are a business, a PayPal business account can help you run and grow your business like never before.
How Can a PayPal Business Account Help You Run Your Business?
With PayPal business, the ability to accept payments is huge. This is a well-known and trusted payment platform. Customers are often more likely to pay if they can do so quickly and easily using PayPal. It eliminates the need to get up and fetch a card, and they know their information is safe.
What all Does a PayPal Business Account Offer?
There are many benefits to having a PayPal business account. First, you have quick access to the money you collect. It’s available to you within minutes, and you can transfer it to your bank or spend directly from PayPal.
Also, your customers do not pay a fee to use PayPal for purchases. They do not even have to have a PayPal account. You can make payments on all types of devices, including mobile. Not only that, but your costs are low as well. PayPal charges a fee for each sale like credit card processors, but there are not extra setup fees. There are also no fees for withdrawals, statements, or cancelations.
You can make payments yourself using PayPal as well. If your vendors accept PayPal, you can make payments quickly and easily. This is a secure way to pay online without revealing sensitive information.
PayPal Business Account: PayPal Working Capital Review
A huge benefit of a PayPal business account is access to PayPal loans. They offer flexible payments with a fixed fee and no credit check. The no credit check is possible because they use your PayPal business transactions as the basis for approval. The amount of your loan and fees are all dependent on the amount you collect each year through PayPal. Furthermore, your loan is repaid as an automatic deduction of collections through PayPal. That means, as long as you are collecting money through PayPal, they will get their money.
The maximum loan amount is 30% of annual PayPal sales. Also, it can be no more than $97,000 for a first loan. The third loan can be up to $125,000. Your business can get funding in minutes and there is no early payment penalty.
You must have a PayPal Business or Premier account for 3 months or longer to qualify. You also have to process more than $20,000 in annual PayPal sales if you have a Premier PayPal account. A regular business PayPal account only requires $15,000 annually to be eligible.
PayPal Business Account: PayPal Working Capital Rates, Terms, Fees and Repayment Options
Repayment happens automatically as a percentage of each PayPal sale. The amount depends on your business’s PayPal sales history, your loan amount, and the repayment percentage chosen. A higher payment percentage will lower the fee.
You can use their calculator tool to get an idea of what fees might look like with different repayment percentages. It can also help you get a feel for how everything works. You do have to pay a minimum amount over a 90-day period, which PayPal claims is easily met by most out of the daily sales. However, if there were a 90-day period where you were not able to hit the minimum out of sales, you can log on and make a payment.
You get to choose what percentage of sales is taken as repayment, which is great. The calculator will show you several options, but the decision is yours. Just remember, the larger the percentage the lower the fees.
Other Working Capital Options
Here are some other options for working capital if you do not qualify for PayPal, or you need more than what they can offer.
There are 4 CAPline programs that differ mostly in the expenses they can fund. Each of them carries a maximum amount of $5 million and an interest rate that ranges from 7% to 10%. Funding can take 45 to 90 days.
The four different programs include:
- Seasonal CAPLines -Financing for businesses preparing for a seasonal increase in sales.
- Contract CAPLines -Financing for businesses that need funding to fill a contract.
- Builder’s CAPLines -Financing for businesses taking on a real estate or construction project.
- Working capital CAPLines -Financing for businesses that are struggling with a short-term slump in sales.
Credit score must be at least 680 to qualify, and there is no minimum time in business requirement unless you are getting a seasonal CAPLine. That one has a one year in business requirement.
Other SBA Programs that Work Well for Working Capital
The Small Business Administration offers many loan programs that can be accessed to help with working capital needs. Remember that these programs are run through traditional lenders. However, you will likely go through a much lengthier application process and approval wait times due to the government guarantee requirements.
This program offers term loans up to $5 million. The funds can be used for expansion, purchasing equipment, working capital and more. Banks, credit unions, and other agencies in partnership with the SBA process these loans and give out the funds.
The minimum credit score to qualify is 680. There is also a required down payment of at least 10% for the purchase of a business, commercial real estate, or equipment. The minimum time in business is 2 years. In the case of startups, business experience equivalent to two years will work.
This is by far the most popular of the SBA loan programs, and the funds are available for a wide range of projects, from working capital to refinancing debt, and even buying a new business or real estate.
Microloans are available in amounts up to $50,000. They work for starting a business, purchasing equipment, buying inventory, or for working capital. Community based non-profits administer microloan programs as intermediaries, with financing coming directly from the Small Business Administration.
Another Option for Working Capital: Credit Line Hybrid
A credit line hybrid is unsecured business credit. It allows you to fund your business without putting up collateral. You only pay back what you use.
It’s not as hard to qualify as you may think. You need personal credit of at least 680. In addition, you can’t have any liens, judgments, bankruptcies or late payments. Also, in the past 6 months you should have less than 4 credit inquiries, and you should have less than a 45% balance on all business and personal credit cards. It’s also better if you have strong business credit as well as personal credit.
However, if you do not meet these requirements you can still benefit! You can take on a credit partner that meets each of these requirements. Many business owners work with a friend or relative to fund their business. If a relative or a friend meets all of these requirements, they can partner with you to allow you to tap into their credit to access funding.
Why Choose a Credit Line Hybrid?
There are many benefits to using a credit line hybrid. First, you do not have to have any collateral to put up. Next, the funding is “no-doc.” This means you do not have to provide any bank statements or financials.
Not only that, but typically approval is up to 5x that of the highest credit limit on the personal credit report. Most times you can even get interest rates as low as 0% for the first few months, allowing you to put that savings back into your business.
Even better, with the approval for multiple credit cards comes competition. This makes it easier, and likely even if you handle the credit responsibly, that you can get interest rates lowered and limits raised every few months. The process is pretty fast, especially with a qualified expert to walk you through it.
Credit Card Options for Working Capital
In addition to a PayPal business account with access to PayPal working credit, loans, and the credit line hybrid, business credit cards can be an option. Funds are easy to access and, in the right situation, rewards can add up nicely. You definitely want to be sure you are getting business credit cards on your business credit, not your personal credit, however.
Why? Because according to the Small Business Administration, business credit card limits are 10 to 100 times that of personal credit cards. This means that you have access to more money when you have strong business credit. Here are a few options to get you started.
This card has no yearly fee. You will not need to provide your Social Security number to apply, nor will you need to provide a personal guarantee. They will take your EIN. Yet, they do not work with all industries, so you will have to check to see if yours is eligible.
They look at the cash balance of your business, spending patterns, and investors to determine credit worthiness. They also offer some rewards. The best part? You can qualify with a FICO as low as 300!
Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
This one also has no annual fee. However, there is no introductory APR offer either. The regular APR is a variable 24.49%. You can earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase for your business, without any minimum to redeem.
While this card is within reach if you have average credit, beware of the APR. Still, if you can pay promptly, and in full, then it’s a good option.
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
This is another card with no annual fee, but this one does have an introductory 0% APR for the first twelve months. After that, the APR is a variable 14.74 – 20.74%.
You can get unlimited 1.5% Cash Back rewards on every purchase made for your company. You will need superb credit to get approval for this card.
Of course, there are many more business credit card options out there. Do your own research to determine which ones will work best for your business. Also, remember that details such as approval requirements and interest rates can change often, so check out individual credit card websites for the most up to date information.
Also remember, credit cards are only good for your business if you handle them responsibly. If you do not pay your bills on time, your fundability and your credit will be affected. Do not spend more than you can afford to pay back.
PayPal Business Account: Is it All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
For the most part, those who have a PayPal business account are happy with. The main complaint that pops up sometimes is that, though they say they have a quick turnaround, it can take up to three days for funds to show up. That is understandably frustrating, but many seem to feel once they know it and can plan for it, the benefits outweigh this inconvenience. Of course, the only way to know for sure if it will work for your business is to try it out yourself. It tends to be a better fit for those who do a fair amount of online business.
Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Fund Your Business
The fact is, whether you have a PayPal Business Account or not, you need to take every opportunity. If that’s PayPal working capital, great! If it’s one of these other options listed here, that’s great too. You have to make the best decision for your business. A PayPal business account appears to be just that for many. It’s a trusted company that offers low cost business services that benefit both businesses and their customers. This is priceless in itself. Customer trust is vital to success. However, having the funds you need to grow is vital to success as well.
To ensure you give your business the best chance possible, it is a good idea to consult with a business credit expert. This is someone who can walk you through the process of building fundability and applying for the right kind of business credit for your needs.
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